March 21, 2014

A letter to Evie on her 7th birthday

Dear Evie,
We've established some family birthday traditions, and you're now old enough to remember them and hold us accountable. We hang up decorations (strategically, because the cats love to take them down). Daddy makes you a cake. And Mommy writes you a blog.

Six might have been my favorite year yet. You're almost through 1st grade, and school agrees with you. Thanks to another year of Chinese immersion, you can distinguish sounds that I can't hear, say things that I can't understand, and recognize characters on Daddy's bottle of Sriracha sauce. Your teacher, Liu lao shi, loves your enthusiasm for the language and culture, and she said she would love to take you to China or Taiwan with her. It's a long trip, but I have a feeling you'll make it there someday, probably before I'm ready.

This year, you started taking piano lessons and art classes after school. I sometimes worry that I'm pushing you too hard, that I'm becoming one of those moms, but I see the joy you take in being creative. I wish we had more unstructured time for you to play in the yard and make up your own stories, but that's one of the tradeoffs of our busy family schedule. This summer, it will be better. I promise.

I know it will be a good summer because last year, you learned to ride your bike without training wheels, and you passed the swim test at the gym (allowing you to safely splash around without an adult hovering over you). You'll be going to the beach with your summer daycare program, you'll be going to a lake cabin with your cousins, and you'll be cruising Ithilien on your brand new birthday bike.

This was the year that you discovered the magic of Harry Potter. We finished reading The Goblet of Fire to you last night, and we'll start The Order of the Phoenix once all this birthday-related chaos dies down.

It's a busy, happy, fun birthday weekend. Earlier tonight, your grandparents and aunties came over for pizza, presents, and cake.

Later, our friends from Wisconsin arrived, and suddenly there were two Gryffindor wizards in the house.

Gryffindors have a reputation for being brave and loyal, and I think you live up to those traits. You are a good friend, Evie, I can see it already. You started your own club at school, and almost everyone in the class joined. You didn't even hold a grudge against the kids who didn't sign up; you told me that you'd save their spots in case they change their mind.

Tomorrow, we're having your birthday party at our gym. The trampoline place we booked suddenly went out of business. I felt bad for you, but you just shrugged it off. The important thing is that you get to celebrate and have fun with your friends.

Save me a spot in the Evie Club. I'm your biggest fan.

Happy Birthday.


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